LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed ("A. Lincoln") as President, [Washington, D.C.,], 26 June 1863. Two lines plus dateline and signature [With:] MEADE, George, Major General. Autograph endorsement signed ("Geo Meade"), 23 June 1863. 15 lines plus dateline and signature. [With:] HOOKER, Joseph, Major General. Endorsement signed. 16 lines plus signature and dateline. Together 4 pages, 4to, matted and framed (first page of the petition pale).
"THIS MAN IS PARDONED." An interesting document whose multiple endorsements testify to the complex chain of command prevailing in the Union Army. The endorsements of Lincoln, Meade and Hooker, with those of other officials and clerks, entirely fill the integral blank and part of the verso of a 3-page petition addressed to Lincoln by a group of officers, urging executive clemency for Private Jonathan Corrigan, Company "D" 6th Volunteer Infantry, Army of the Potomac, who has been sentenced to be hung. Twelve of Corrigan's fellow officers urge he be pardoned. The commanding officer, Major General Joseph Hooker adds a recommendation: "Respectfully recommended for the clemency of the President. This man was to have been executed on Friday next, but has been reprieved, until the pleasure of the Executive is known upon this petition."
The petition was forwarded first to Brig. General R.B. Ayres, then to Major General George Sykes, who writes "Being ignorant of the circumstances of his case I cannot say whether the petition should be formally considered or not." General Meade, notorious for harsh discipline and his willingness to carry out executions, here endorses Presidential clemency, due to "the length of time since the prisoner was tried for the offense." Lincoln unhesitatingly and decisively writes "This man is pardoned."